16 self employed jobs, perfect for working for yourself

·7 min read
Photo credit: Issy Muir
Photo credit: Issy Muir

Unless you've somehow been blessed with Beyoncé as a manager, you probably love the idea of self employed jobs and working for yourself, especially given the fact it gives you freedom to decide your own hours, workload and more.

The good news is that the distant dream of self employment is becoming more of a reality; a recent ONS study found that in the last 10 years the number of women in self employment has risen by 57%. The bad news is that fermenting in your trackies watching Love Island on repeat does not count as a career (rude), but here are the 16 actual jobs to go for if you want to be self employed. Goodbye, overly chatty co-workers!

Graphic Designer

It's a highly creative role, with ideas at the backbone, so you'd need to be motivated to pitch for new business, and build good relationships with clients. It helps to be flexible, as when you have deadlines you'll likely be working longer hours than usual, but it pays off, graphic designers report high job satisfaction, plus mid-level salaries range from £25-35k. Not too shabby.

Tutor

Private tutoring can be a really lucrative self employed job, with the average rate at £32-£40 per hour. Obviously the more thoroughly you know your subject and the more qualified you are, the more you can charge. You'll have to travel to and from your tutees home, so it helps that you decide who you want to take on. Platforms like First Tutors are a good place to find work and build up a solid reputation.

Photo credit: NicoElNino - Getty Images
Photo credit: NicoElNino - Getty Images

Virtual Assistant

This is a great role for anyone with an administrative or assistant background, as you'll be doing the same type of tasks but working remotely (pub, anyone?) you'll have to communicate regularly with your employer who'll be looking for someone they 'match' with. Websites like Virtalent are great for setting up virtual assistants with employers. Oh, and did we mention the £28k average salary?

Makeup Artist

Not for the work-shy, make-up artistry often means working weekends and sometimes long, unsociable hours. Plus it takes a long time to build up the solid reputation that will mean consistent work and a decent daily rate (head MUAs average at £170-£320). But the opportunity to travel and being able to do what you love in a creative industry is a huge perk.

Photo credit: NicoElNino - Getty Images
Photo credit: NicoElNino - Getty Images

Developer

Software development is a booming industry with lots of freelance opportunities, which, incidentally pay on average double those of permanent staff. Plus, developers aren't just hired by tech companies, they're contracted by lots of industries so there are plenty of opportunities to find work.

Personal Trainer

Even though PTs work in specific gyms, they're not gym instructors, so they're typically not hired by the gym but actually working for themselves and trying to win clients. You have to be very self-motivating and willing to work as hard at marketing and sales as you are at working out. Average salaries range anywhere from £20-£100 per hour, and because you work when your clients need you, you've got to be prepared to be very busy early mornings and evenings. Hope you don't like sleep...

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Photographer

It's an exciting, fast-paced industry with lots of opportunities to travel and meet exciting people, but again, the hours can be long and unpredictable, with periods of too much work followed by period where work is scarce. Job security is scarce before you've built up your reputation so freelance photographers often supplement their income with relevant side-hustles like teaching photography classes.

Social Media Consultant

Consulting work, generally, is a great avenue for self-employment (with an average salary of £30k, hello!), and in these digital days brands are looking to work with social savvy experts who can help them build their channels. It's often useful to have marketing experience and you'll often find that you're working with brands on specific campaigns so being able to work to a brief is ideal.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Writer

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a Carrie Bradshaw, why not try your hand at a bit of content writing? Whether as a freelancer full time or as a bit of work on the side, offer your skills as a wordsmith to brands and corporations who might need content on demand. Whether through copywriting or content writing, be sure to write to the brand's style and specification, as well as word count.

Event planner

Unless working for an events company, many party planners are freelance, meaning they can juggle lots of jobs at once. While it hasn't been great for the events industry, there's undoubtedly a backlog of people with weddings, birthdays, baby showers and more to celebrate, so if you're good at organisation and love a good bash, grab the bullet journal already!

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Career or life coach

If you find yourself dishing out advice at every dinner party, life or career coaching could be for you. You'll need some qualifications first, but your typical day will include 1:1 sessions with your clients, talking them through situations and offering guidance on how best they can handle their dilemmas. Time to monetise being an agony aunt, basically.

Dog walker

We know you love dogs (right? RIGHT?), so why not turn that passion into a money making venture as a dog walker? While you don't need any formal qualifications, it might help to have some animal first aid skills, and you might also need to build your client base through friends of friends and family members to kick things off. Before you know it, you'll be like that iconic photo of Daniel Radcliffe.

Photo credit: Westend61 - Getty Images
Photo credit: Westend61 - Getty Images

Hairdresser

A big advantage of being a self-employed hairdresser, is that you can wash, cut, and style customers’ hair from the comfort of your own home (or the customer's). Alternatively, some hairdressers enjoy the flexibility - and stability - of renting a chair in an established salon a few days a week. Of course the relevant qualifications are required to be a freelance hairdresser, but these can be achieved through a part-time course or by simply learning at a salon that offers in-house training. The only downfall? Your friends will most likely expect regular - and probably mates rates - haircuts!

CV writer

Everybody needs a good CV, so if you can offer a service that can help job seekers stand out amongst other applicants, you could build a thriving business helping other people. Skills would include being good at writing, being concise and being able to tailor a CV to an application. You can simply start by helping out your friends, then build your contact base from there.

Nanny

If you're great with kids, then nannying is the perfect job to do on a freelance basis. It's a thriving industry, where jobs are available everywhere from recruitment websites to Facebook pages. The hours are flexible, and the pay on average is around £13 or £14.

Interior Designer

If you're creatively-minded and have a good eye for interiors, a career as a self-employed interior designer could be a smart and fun option for you. If you're new to interior design, building a portfolio is the first main focus. Start by creating mood boards and colour schemes which show off your style to potential clients. If you haven't designed an actual space before, using 2D visualisations are just as good at showing an employer your tastes - so being good at tech is a desired skill. It's important to specialise in a niche, have your own style and most importantly promote yourself online - ultimately this is how you secure clients. An internship at an agency could be a good idea before you become self employed - there you will learn how to manage clients, make contacts and see how a real studio works. The average salary for a freelance interior designer is £27,700, according to Glassdoor.

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